Bleach (2018) is a concise, superb introduction to Manga artist Kubo Taito’s opus magnum.
Bleach (2018 Film) Synopsis
9-year-old Kurosaki Ichigo’s mother is mysteriously killed while out with him by the riverside one rainy day. Years later, Ichigo’s life is again thrown into turmoil when he encounters a katana-wielding teenage girl fighting a horrific monster known as a Hollow. Overwhelmed by the Hollow, the girl reveals that she is a Shinigami, or Soul Reaper, and that the only way to defeat the monster is to transfer part of her powers to Ichigo. Desperate to protect his family, Ichigo immediately agrees. Little does he know the decision would forever change his life. As well as trap him in the eternal battle between Soul Reapers and Hollows.
Before all else, a declaration! Prior to watching this Anime live-action adaptation on Netflix, I was near completely clueless about Bleach.
Yeah … Despite the series being one of the Big Three Names of Manga/Anime in the 2000s, I never had any interest in it, having grown out of shonen “fight-fight-fight” stories by the time Bleach came out. (I was also graduating into … high school Rom-Com) The short of it, so as to be able to do this snappy movie review properly, I binged on the Manga and Anime series for weeks before writing. My comments are thus, ahem, mostly a comparison of this live-action adaptation with its older siblings.
In a nutshell, the effects, choice of cast, and the story presentation impress. The adaptation is also, I would say, hugely respectful to the source material.
On the latter, it’s naturally no longer any real merit, with other adaptations such as those for Gintama and JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure also greatly faithful to their respective sources. What differentiates Bleach (2018), on the other hand, is its decision and ability to leave out slapstick elements without compromising the original story.
By that, I mean the absence of irrelevant fights, hysterical dialogues, out-of-the-world hair, etc. Even Ichigo’s signature orange turf is tweaked to a natural auburn. While this might disappoint fans looking for frame-by-frame reproduction, in my case, it did wonders. I didn’t have any cringing moments throughout. I didn’t roll me eyes too. That’s definitely not what I could say about many other adaptations I’ve recently watched!
One other thing, I didn’t binge on the Manga and Anime purely for the sake of this review, in case you’re wondering. The movie genuinely piqued my interest in the series. If this adaptation is meant to sustain/revive interest in Bleach, then clearly, it’s a winner in those areas as well.
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